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Ever since making the decision to homeschool 9 years ago, I’ve found many different reasons to be thankful for homeschooling and this journey. But is it all about my gratitude? Of course not! Here are the 13 reasons my 12- and 13-year-old sons revealed for being “eternally grateful for the opportunity to be homeschooled”.
“We can have coffee in school. We get to have snacks in class. Um, basically…most of my reasons have to do with food.”
I remember getting to college and being so floored by the fact that I could bring a coffee to class with me. I mean, holy moly! Score! We are thankful for homeschooling not only for the freedom to have snacks and coffee as we learn, but also because of second breakfasts and yummy, fill-you-up lunches. (Can you tell I live with growing boys?)
“We don’t have to be on a bus at 7 am.”
Of all the people who live in this house, the only morning person is me. We are thankful for homeschooling because it lets us adjust our structured learning to the times that work for our family. In a house full of growing bodies and developing minds, it’s a comfort to know that when extra sleep is needed, it’s totally and completely doable.
“My dog is here.”
Whether there is a cat sprawled out on the art project or a dog on your lap while you’re reading, there is a homey feel to learning with your furry friend. (And—homeschool mom tip—I’ve had several friends who have actually used the animal as a student when the human student didn’t want to participate. It’s amazing what “teaching addition to a dog” will get a kid to do!)
“I have more time to research stuff I’m interested in.”
How deeply can you dive into something if you’ve only got the time in between homework, dinner, and bedtime? We are thankful for homeschooling because it has allowed us the time to dive deeply into our passions. When you’re not bound by what to learn when, you realize just how big the world is and just how much there is to explore.
“If we are sick, it isn’t the end of the world. We just scrap the day.”
The chaos of sick kids is increased tenfold when you’re a student in public school. I’m thankful for homeschooling because illness doesn’t throw a huge dent in our life. Homeschooling has allowed us the flexibility to work on getting well without rushing and having to pile information into our brain at the same time. There’s nothing worse than trying to learn a new math formula when you’re surrounded by tissues and head cold medicine. I mean, how far can the information even soak in if your head is plugged up?
“I’m just happy, you know? Life is good.”
I remember an acquaintance stopping at our farm several years ago. While we chatted, my kids ran around the yard like always. Our visitor commented that my kids were so “carefree and happy”, and that was “quite different” than most of the kids she dealt with on a normal day-to-day basis. I won’t tell you what her profession was, but I’ll bet you can guess.
“I really like being able to do float school.”
For years, we’ve been doing something known at our house as “float school”. Float school means we do some sit down school…and then we go do something else. Then we gather again for more structured learning…then we go do something else. We have always found, regardless of age, that our kids learn better and are more engaged when they have big “brain breaks” in the midst of their structured school time.
“We don’t have to learn things a certain way.”
I’m thankful for the flexibility to explain or teach something differently. We’re not bound to learning something by only one method. The fact that my kids learn differently has forced me to be creative in looking for ways to help them understand. My sons have also caught on to the way that their brother’s brain works, and can think ahead to help explain things to each other to help make the light bulb go off.
“It’s fun when we end up teaching you stuff instead of you always teaching us.”
I love learning new things with my kids. I love finding math curriculum that explains things to me in a way that finally makes sense. I love discovering new bits of history I didn’t already know. I love tripping upon new ways of exploring literature. My kids enjoy seeing that I’m still learning, too, especially if it’s something they knew that I didn’t. It’s good for them to know that I don’t know everything—because no adult does.
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“We just really have a lot of time to learn our own stuff.”
My sons are currently building their own computers. I love it when people assume that I’m teaching my kids how to do this. Friends, I don’t know the first thing about what’s inside a computer. I’m thankful for homeschooling because my kids have learned the power they have in research. They are independent and can search out all the answers they need on their own. The learning is truly placed in their hands, which is very empowering!
“We don’t just hang out with kids. We talk to pretty much anyone. But we’re also not forced to be adults.”
They’re mature enough to be annoyed with small talk about what brand of shoes they should wear, and yet they’re allowed the freedom to still enjoy hanging out in a tree fort for the day if they so choose. My boys are also totally okay with talking to anyone of any age because we spend our time with people of all ages.
“There’s a lot of flexibility.”
If you’re anything like me, you forget just how flexible homeschooling actually allows you to be. A homeschooling friend recently pointed out that as her kids got older and things like jobs and college level courses were added, it suddenly struck her how flexible their family had been able to be in those early years of homeschooling. It’s important to keep perspective and be thankful for the opportunities that homeschooling allows you to be flexible for.
“I don’t have to fit in anywhere. I just get to be me.”
My kids are learning first-hand what it’s like to go against the flow, and more importantly, that it’s okay to go against the flow. There are a lot of things we are involved in where my kids are the only homeschoolers. My sons have to field questions from people who don’t understand why we do what we do. They are figuring out how to stick up for our choices. They’re learning that we do things differently, and it’s completely okay.
There so many reasons to be thankful for homeschooling, and your reasons are probably specific to your family. Have you asked your kids why they are thankful for the opportunity to be homeschooled?
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